Manages Parisian Family Office. Began Wall Street, 82. Founded investment firm, Native American Advisors. Member, White Earth Chippewa Tribe. Was NYSE/FINRA arb. Conservative. Raised on Native reservations. Pureblood, clot-shot free. In a world elevated on a tech-driven dopamine binge, he trades from Ghost Ranch on the Yellowstone River in MT, his TN farm, Pamelot or CASA TULE', his winter camp in Los Cabos, Mexico. Always been, and will always be, an optimist.

Monday, October 24, 2005

My son, Hunter................

On Hunters 10th birthday it made for a great present. A Browning BAR .243 rifle. A gun I dreamed about in my early years. I put a Leopold Vari-X scope on it, ordered an Uncle Mikes sling and it was good to go. I took the gun out a few of times after we sighted it in. I think the first 5 or 6 shots while hunting with it I downed deer and coyotes when Hunter couldn't accompany me. I loved the way it handled and the light recoil. As well, a real present for me was when Hunter scored a 98 on his test to get his gun safety certificate that year. The past couple of years Hunter, now 13 and little brother, Jordan, 9 have practiced diligently in their climbing stands. We go out in the summer heat and practice. We practice getting into our safety harnesses. We go out at night and practice getting up a tree in the dark with a safety harness on. We practice pulling up rifles with ropes. We practice lowering rifles with ropes. We practice moving the stands 360 degrees around the tree to move with the sun and get in a better position. Yet, the last couple of years have been difficult for Hunter to get some actual shooting in. We have seen plenty of deer. We have had tremendous fun and great excitement. He's had deer wind him from behind and scare him with their "blow". Hunter just hadn't had the right opportunity to connect on one of the Creators most magnificent creatures. We even hunted TN with his cousins and were covered up with does in a buck-only season. It just wasn't his time to score. His time would come. Last Saturday morning found us searching for a tree stand in south Georgia about 45 minutes before any light. My great pal and a top notch deer hunter himself, Ron Branch, had locked on Hunters tree stand last week in some very thick planted pine trees with three fairly decent shooting lanes to cover. I had taken several deer in this area myself and knew it was a great travel corridor. When I called Ron last week late one afternoon and he was huffing and grunting I asked him what he was doing and he replied, "I am cutting tree limbs and have got Hunters tree stand on a great tree". As a matter of fact, it was about 60 yards from a scrape that a poacher/trespasser shot a buck in last year while Hunter and I were on stand together about a quarter of a mile away. Sometimes things aren't fair. In hunting or in life. We didn't think we were going to make the opening day of deer gun season this year as we are leaving in 48 hours to hunt geese in North Dakota but with the cooler weather coming in and a lot of deer on our property in Turner County I knew we just had to go. Jordan, playing fullback and linebacker on his football team wasn't able to accompany us and was sad but his days are ahead. He will be getting his hunter (gun) safety certificate this year and unbeknownst to him his new Browning BAR .243 is in the gun safe now and will be wrapped for his birthday next October. The price was right and Dad just had to do it early. My LED-light picked up the tree stand and we went to work getting Hunter up the tree. It was like clock work. Smooth, quiet and comfortable. No straining, no hassle, nothing out of place. The years of practice were in play moving in the dark. He settled in, secure, chambered a round and gave me the thumbs up. All was right with the world. An owl gave a big hoot and I moved silently back out the trail we came in on. My LED-light picked up the shining eyes of a fox coming down the trail and he bolted like a rabbit into the thick undercover. As sunlight came up I was about a half mile away covering a scrape line Probably doing more thinking than hunting. The morning wore on. We had not talked to each other for a couple of hours and I was beginning to wonder. There were a lot of guys in the woods across I-75 and I hadn't heard any shots being fired. A lot of those "hunters", (I call them shooters) were shooting over corn (bait). Maybe it was too warm and though the scrapes had been hit that night the big rut is still to come. I knew there were plenty of deer in the area because we hadn't taken but a few all last year out of there. And plenty of sign was evident.I was moving slow down to an area I had taken a big doe last year on opening morning right at daylight. Jordan was walking behind me then when she "blew" and with her "white flag" up made a mortal mistake and stopped after a few jumps. I went to a knee and with Jordan looking right down my gun barrel over my shoulder he watched the muzzle blast and the deer crumple. Pretty exciting for an 8 year old. Dad too. As I was moving slow I heard a shot. Then the cell phone rang. I quickly pulled it out of my pocket and heard a voice whisper, "Got one". I said "Who is this, Ron or Hunter?" The quiet voice said, "Hunter". My glee was hard to mask. I told him to sit tight, don't get out of the tree, watch for more deer and to be safe. As I was moving to him, about 5 minutes after that phone call I heard another shot. It was Hunter's rifle. Deer # 2 was down. I have always preached about remaining quiet after a kill. He listened. It worked. He had made two terrific shots, one buck, one doe were down. He had plenty of excitement to share. I am a very blessed man. Healthy sons, a great family, wonderful friends. As hunters, we never forget deer number one and Hunter will never forget number two. Things are good and they are going to get better.The best is yet to come. Later that evening, Ron scored on two nice whitetails while still hunting some fairly thick cover. His patience paid off on the second one as well. As for the "baiting" crowd, they were shut out. Zero deer. Shooting doesn't pay real dividends, hunting does. Just ask Hunter.

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